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The Fox That Stole Shoes

A little predator stole over 120 shoes - outfoxing everyone in the truest sense of the word.

A Shoe Obsession?

For over a year, something strange was happening in Föhren (Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany) - but only ever at night. Shoes left out on decks and porches would disappear without a trace by the next morning. Who was doing this, someone that was just obsessed with shoes? Who would want to put on stinky shoes left out to air? For a whole year, this shoe crime wave was a mystery to the locals.

Fox Fox - Photo: Menno Schaefer/Shutterstock


On the Thief’s Trail

50-year-old ranger Rolf Willerscheidt finally got wise: while felling trees, he happened upon a fox burrow in a steep slope. He fished out 86 shoes. Not far away, he found another 32 shoes in a rocky crevice. “Some of them still look brand new,” said the ranger.

Heels or Sneakers?

The fox didn’t seem to care what kind of shoes they were, just that they were shoes! But sometimes he even took both shoes.

A Fox on the Run

Even today, nobody has been able to catch this thieving fox. But at least the stolen goods have been returned to their rightful owners. They were able to collect them from Count Rudolf Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt at his castle. He said: “the shoes might have been intended as toys for its young, because you can see little teeth marks on the shoelaces.” Isn’t that cute?!

The Fox Just Can’t Stop

After this discovery, shoes carried on being taken. The fox seems to be addicted to shoes! There’s only one thing left to do: bring your stinky sneakers inside at night!


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